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One of the Big Four Cattle Books

“In 1928 I traded a pair of store-bought boots to my uncle Neville Dobie for his copy of this book. A man would have to throw in a young Santa Gertrudis bull now to get a copy” (Dobie)

27. [COX, James]. Historical and Biographical Record of the Cattle Industry and the Cattlemen of Texas and Adjacent Territory. St. Louis , Missouri : Woodward & Tiernan Printing Co., 1895. 743 pp., color frontispiece, 16 photographic plates, numerous text illustrations (portraits, ranches, activities with cattle, etc., many photographic), tables. Folio, original brown pictorial leather covers stamped in gilt and blind, showing gilt longhorn within star of Texas (recent sympathetic spine duplicating original, which is preserved with book).  Corners slightly scuffed, endpapers lightly browned (due to contact with leather turn-ins), otherwise this is a very fine copy, with the color frontispiece (often lacking).  This is a book difficult to find in collector’s condition and complete.  Provenance: From the library of Ernest J. Dickinson, whose great grandfather, Isham J. Good, is the subject of the biographical sketch on page 454. Signatures of Dickinson and two previous family-member owners.

     First edition. Adams, Herd 593: “Very rare.... One of the ‘big four’ cattle books. An important book on the history of the cattle industry, and no collector’s library would be complete without it. It is rarely found with the frontispiece, and since it is an unusually heavy book and the leather has deteriorated with age, its back strip is usually missing or in bad condition. It is said that the scarcity is due to the fact that nearly all the edition was lost in a warehouse fire.” Basic Texas Books 34: “This compendium on Texas cattle and cattlemen is also one of the rarest Texas books.... Nearly 400 pages are devoted to biographies of some 449 Texas cattlemen, and these sketches are a gold mine for research into the cowboys.... The other half of the volume...provides one of the two or three best contemporary accounts of the history of the Texas cattle trade.” Campbell , My Favorite 101 Books about the Cattle Industry 23. Dobie, p. 100: “In 1928 I traded a pair of store-bought boots to my uncle Neville Dobie for his copy of this book. A man would have to throw in a young Santa Gertrudis bull now to get a copy.” Dykes, Collecting Range Life Literature, p. 12; Kid 29; Western High Spots, p. 27 (“My Ten Most Outstanding Books on the West”); p. 103 (“The Texas Ranch Today”). Graff 891. Howes C820. King, Women on the Cattle Trail and in the Roundup, p. 15. Merrill, Aristocrats of the Cow Country, pp. 9-10, 17: “Great source book for both history and biography.” One Hundred Head Cut Out of the Jeff Dykes Herd 51. Rader 1891. Reese, Six Score 24: “One of the ‘big four’ cattle books, and after Freeman’s Prose and Poetry, the most important.... Vital and useful.” Saunders 2846. Vandale 44.

     This is a lavishly illustrated work for nineteenth-century Texas .  Kelsey, Engraved Prints of Texas 1554-1900, p. 334, “Contains...a few engravings, including ‘Old Time Cowboys of the Plain’ [D6.8] which is copied or plagiarized from Leslie’s Weekly Newspaper”; p. 366:  “This book contains a colored frontispiece and 272 photographic illustrations.   Many are full-page illustrations designated as cymographs.  There are a large number of photographic portraits.  The frontispiece is a full-page chromolithograph, titled ‘A Stampede’ [D17.4], copyrighted by Gean Smith, New York City, from an original painting owned by W. H. Woodward of St. Louis.  There are several end pieces that are probably metal engravings and a few wood engravings that are listed here.  None of the images is signed by artist or engraver.” 

       The only thing we can add is that this is a superb source for women in the cattle country of Texas , with many biographies and portraits of the distaff side of the ranching world.  ($7,000-15,000)

Auction 19 Short Title List | Auction 19 Prices Realized

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